Sky Tag, the company of Michael McNeilly, self-proclaimed defender of artistic freedom, is asking the federal court to permanently enjoin the city from enforcing its ban on supergraphic signs at 21 locations. A judge granted Skytag a preliminary injunction at 18 of the sites earlier this year.
The three added locations were among 27 sites Skytag wanted included in the preliminary injunction, but U.S. District Judge Audrey Collins ruled that the company had failed to prove that supergraphic signs at those sites had been erected prior to Dec. 26 of last year, the effective date of the city’s 3-month moratorium on any new off-site advertising signs.
The properties include the CNN tower on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, the historic Mayfair Hotel just west of downtown, and an office building in the Miracle Mile area of Wilshire Blvd. A hearing on the motion for a permanent injunction is scheduled before Judge Collins on Oct. 5.
Along with its motion, Skytag filed declarations by three persons testifying that the supergraphic signs had been erected before the moratorium. One of those persons, David Simon, is managing director of Broadreach Capital Partners, owners of the 14-story CNN tower. Another is LeAnn Lambrect, listed as an employee of Legacy Partners, owners of the building at 6300 Wilshire.
Legacy Partners is the primary developer of the Hollywood & Vine project that sought and received entitlement for 23,000 sq. ft. of off-site advertising signage, even though less than 8,000 sq. ft. was allowed by Hollywood sign district regulations.
As of this summer, the Mayfair Hotel was in the process of being purchased by a company called Amerland Group, which was seeking $25 million in housing bonds from the city to rehab the property and convert it to affordable apartment units. The company made news last year when City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo filed numerous criminal charges alleging fire code violations at two downtown hotels the company was planning to renovate with help from city redevelopment money. Those charges were later resolved.
The Mayfair Hotel and the Wilshire Blvd. building currently sport McNeilly’s signature “State of Liberty” images. A supergraphic sign advertising “Red Bull Soapbox Race” currently covers most of one side of the CNN tower.Dennis Hathaway